Stories of Beauty and Transformation “…the boundary where death and life meet…” […]
We remember Rabbi Mel Glazer
Rabbi Melvin Glazer, congregational rabbi and grief specialist, died peacefully on April 22, 2018 – 7 Iyar 5778 at the age of 71. Born and raised in Atlanta, GA, Rabbi Mel earned a BA from Columbia University and the Jewish Theological Seminary, was ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary in 1974, and received a Doctor […]
Organizing a Chevra Kadisha?
Don’t have a Chevrah Kadisha yet? No problem! Learn how to start one. Work with experienced trainers who can guide you through the process and be advisors to your community once you are established. Just an email away. […]
Dying Jewishly ELI Living Jewishly Means Dying Jewishly Too ELI Talk by Michael Slater In much of society today, death is to be avoided at all costs – in polite company and modern medicine alike. Jewish tradition, explains Dr. Michael Slater, has a very different approach. In a talk that is part memoir, part history, […]
Building a New Road Out of Stumbling Blocks: A Difficult Taharah “Back Story” By Merle Karasch Gross
[Ed. Note: WARNING – This is not for the faint of heart or the squeamish. This entry in our blog details some of the aspects of what may occur in what we refer to as a “Difficult Taharah”. Told from the perspective of one event at one Chevrah Kadisha, this speaks to the guiding principle […]
An analysis of the Takanot of the Bikur Cholim Society of Frankfurt am Main of 1740
[Ed. Note: This is an examination of the rules set forth for members of the Bikur Cholim (caring for the ill) society of Frankfort am Main in 1740. Historically, the work of the Chevrah Kadisha could, and did, overlap with the work of those who cared for the sick. Today the two functions are often […]
Next To Whom Shall I Lay?
Burial decisions can be difficult, and sometimes they are even more complicated than usual. One contemporary category of complication involves situations of widow(er)s and remarriage. Here’s a basic scenario: A is married to B, and B dies. A remarries C, and then C dies (and is not buried next to B). When A dies, should […]
The Tattoo Myth One of the most prevalent myths about Jewish death pertains to tattoos: should you have them, you can’t have a Jewish funeral or be buried in a Jewish cemetery. This is simply not true. Indeed, this is the single most frequent tweet I make as a response for Kavod v’Nichum. Ironically, I’m […]
The Case Against a Kosher Casket
A Kosher Casket? A Kosher Casket? Kosher means fit or proper for ritual use, but unlike the biblical delineation of which foods are kosher, there are no biblical rules to give guidance regarding manufacture of kosher caskets. The Talmud contains dozens of occurrences of Hebrew words that are translated to English as “casket”, “coffin”, “bier”, […]
Isn’t it depressing?
Rena Boroditsky of Chesed Shel Emes People say to me, “I don’t understand how you do your job,” or, “What’s it like to be surrounded by death all the time? Isn’t it depressing?” It’s not depressing, but it can be sad. Those of us behind the scenes, the Shomrim who sit vigil with our loved […]